Sports briefs: Jan. 17

January 17, 2013 

CYCLING

Armstrong says viewers must decide his sincerity, remorse

Lance Armstrong said Wednesday that viewers can judge for themselves how candid he was in his interview with Oprah Winfrey.

"I left it all on the table with her and when it airs the people can decide," he said in a text message to The Associated Press.

Armstrong responded to a report in the New York Daily News, citing an unidentified source, that he was not contrite when he acknowledged during Monday's taping with Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

He's also held conversations with U.S. anti-doping officials, touching off speculation that the team leader who demanded loyalty from others soon may face tough choices himself: whether to name those who aided, knew about or helped cover up a sophisticated doping ring that Armstrong ran on his U.S. Postal Service squads.

"I have no idea what the future holds other than me holding my kids," he said.

Former teammate Frankie Andreu said no one is better-suited to provide anti-doping authorities with a blueprint for cleaning up the sport. "Lance knows everything that happened," Andreu told the AP. "He's the one who knows who did what because he was the ringleader. It's up to him how much he wants to expose."


COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Fort Lewis College hires John L. Smith

John L. Smith will take over at tiny Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., after being let go as Arkansas' football coach.

Smith will start his new head coaching assignment on March 1. He inherits a Skyhawks team that went 0-10 last season.

Now, instead of coaching against Southeastern Conference squads like national champion Alabama, Smith will face teams in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference such as Adams State.

The former Michigan State and Louisville coach was hired away from Weber State last April to step in for ousted Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino. The Razorbacks and Smith struggled to a 4-8 record.

Georgia tailback Ken Malcome has announced plans to transfer as he seeks increased playing time. Malcome, a sophomore, began the 2012 season as the starter but was soon passed by freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Malcome had 57 carries for 274 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games, including one start.

The beauty pageant queen who shot to social media stardom during the BCS championship will be back in front of the cameras ahead of the Super Bowl. Former Miss Alabama USA Katherine Webb will serve as a correspondent for Inside Edition.

The girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, Webb became a household face when ESPN's cameras lingered on her during the Crimson Tide's rout of Notre Dame on Jan. 7 and announcer Brent Musburger commented on her looks.

Police say a University of Florida offensive lineman has been charged with stealing a scooter. Redshirt freshman Jessamen Dunker was arrested Wednesday in Gainesville and charged with vehicle theft, a third-degree felony.

San Diego State is staying in the Mountain West and backing out on the Big East — just as Boise State did last month.


NBA

Austin beats Doc as Hornets trip Celts

Austin Rivers won his first NBA game against his father on Wednesday as the visiting New Orleans Hornets beat Coach Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics 90-78.

Greivis Vasquez scored 15 points with 11 rebounds for the Hornets. Al-Farouq Aminu added 18 points and nine rebounds and Anthony Davis had 10 of each. The Hornets won for the sixth time in seven games and stopped Boston's six-game winning streak.

The Atlanta Hawks suspended top scorer Josh Smith for Wednesday's home game against the Brooklyn Nets for "conduct detrimental to the team." The Hawks did not reveal the conduct that led to the one-game suspension.


BASEBALL

A-Rod out 6 months after hip surgery

Alex Rodriguez has undergone surgery on his left hip and is expected to be sidelined until after the All-Star break. The New York Yankees said a torn labrum and impingement were repaired during the operation Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. The team says the former All-Star third baseman is expected to be released from the hospital on Thursday and the anticipated time for a full recovery is six months. The Yankees signed Kevin Youkilis this off-season to play third base while Rodriguez is out.

Right-hander Phil Hughes and the Yankees have agreed to a $7.15 million, one-year contract, a raise of $3.75 million. Hughes, who is eligible for free agency after next season, was 18-8 in 2010, slumped to 5-5 in 2011 as injuries slowed him, then rebounded to a 16-13 record last year.

Major League Baseball's spring training schedule opens when the Boston Red Sox host Northeastern University on Feb. 21 at Fort Myers, Fla., in what the commissioner's office says is the earliest start to exhibition games. After four charity games the following day, all 30 teams are scheduled for Feb. 23. The previous earliest start for spring training games was Feb. 24 in 2011.


TENNIS

Sharapova off to rare double blanking

Maria Sharapova was careful not to show any disrespect to the two women she beat 6-0, 6-0 along the way to a third-round match against Venus Williams at the Australian Open.

"It's not really the statistic I want to be known for," Sharapova said. "I want to be known for winning Grand Slam titles, not that I won two matches 6-0, 6-0."

The No. 2-ranked Sharapova overwhelmed Japan's Misaki Doi in 47 minutes Wednesday, even less time than she'd needed to beat fellow Russian Olga Puchkova two days earlier.

Wendy Turnbull was the last to post back-to-back 6-0, 6-0 wins at a Grand Slam, in 1985.

Sharapova knows it won't be easy against the 32-year-old Williams, who has won seven Grand Slams. Sharapova leads the head-to-head series 4-3, but Williams has won both of their Grand Slam meetings. Williams is still on the comeback trail from missing seven months after the 2011 U.S. Open to deal with Sjogren's Syndrome.

No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic is already into the third round, extending his winning streak at Melbourne Park to 16 with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 win over 20-year-old American Ryan Harrison. He's on track for a record third consecutive Australian Open title.


COLLEGE SPORTS

Big Ten is richest; SEC No. 4

The Southeastern Conference isn't No. 1 in one category: revenues. Forbes released a list Wednesday of the estimated annual revenues for the top conferences in college sports. The SEC, boasting the reigning national champions in football and men's basketball, is fourth. But that will likely change soon, with the SEC renegotiating its television contracts after expansion. The Big Ten is No. 1 with revenues of $310 million — $250 million coming from TV. The Pacific-12 is second at $303 million and the Atlantic Coast Conference third at $293 million. The SEC had revenues of $270 million.


The last word

Bode Miller has elected to skip the rest of the World Cup season to give his left knee more time to heal. The two-time overall champion had microfracture surgery nearly a year ago and doesn't want any sort of setback with the 2014 Sochi Olympics so close. Still, Miller hasn't sat out a full season since his debut in 1997.

"It was tough for me to miss a season of ski racing, but this decision was easy ... . I have said many times that motivation is a key trait for me when it comes to my racing — I am super motivated to do great things next year."

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